Whirlpool Corporation announced that its board of directors declared a first-quarter 2004 dividend of U.S. $0.43 per share, a 26-percent increase from the fourth-quarter 2003 dividend of $0.34 per share. The dividend will be payable on March 15, 2004, to holders of record at the close of business on Feb. 27, 2004.
"The dividend increase reflects the board's confidence in the company's financial position, the ability of our operations to generate ongoing free cash flow, and the positive momentum of Whirlpool's brands worldwide," said David R. Whitwam, Whirlpool's chairman and CEO.
The company also reaffirmed its guidance that 2003 full-year earnings are expected to be closer to the lower end of its previously announced range of $5.90 to $6.10 per share.
For 2004, the company's full-year earnings are expected to be in the range of $6.20 to $6.35 per share. The global appliance maker said the outlook is based on stabilizing economic and industry conditions in Brazil and positive growth forecasts for the company's other key global markets.
"We are expecting improved performance next year on the strength of continuing consumer demand for Whirlpool brands and innovation worldwide, and significant ongoing productivity cost savings from our global operations," Mr. Whitwam said.
to Daily News